Tertullian’s full name was Quintus Septimius Florens Tertullianus. That sound like a scientific name for a Martian creature! Nevertheless, Tertullian contribution to the Church of Christ cannot be repudiated. Tertullian had something to tell the persecutors of Christians.
“But carry on, good officials. You will become much better in the eyes of the people if you will sacrifice the Christians for them. Torture us! Your iniquity is proof of our innocence. For this reason, God permits us to suffer these things…..Yet tour tortures accomplish nothing, though each is more refined than the last; rather they are an enticement to our religion. We become more every time we are hewn down by you: the blood of Christians seed..”
He was also the man who argued against combative sports. He was entirely against anything violent. As a matter of fact, there have been unending debates on whether Christians should participate in boxing or not. Is it okay for Christians to either join in or support boxing and martial arts? That is a question that has bogged many in Christian circles for a long time, and I am not here to extend my viewpoint on the same.
It is interesting to note that we have had boxers who profess Christianity. George Foreman, the former World Heavyweight champion, has narrated his experience in the dressing room after a thorough beating from Jimmy Young. Evander Holyfield also a former heavyweight champion has shown a robust Christian faith and always added Philippians 4:13 to his autographs. The list romps in Manny Pacquiao too. I would quickly add a disclaimer that I do not know the celebrities personal walk with the Lord.
Just like St. Paul in I Corinthians 9:26, I am not writing a creed of boxing but preferably using the sporting analogy to make a point on the Christian life.
What constitutes a successful boxer?
Most of us agree that to be a successful boxer (Muhammad Ali, Sugar Ray Robinson, Rocky Marciano……name them…….) is no mediocre assignment. There are three principal people one will need to make it in the ring of life, just as it is in the case of boxing. They are the trainer, the manager and the promoter.
The trainer will ensure that you are sufficiently adorned for the challenge; by building on your strength and helping you better your vulnerable areas. He/She will inspire you to stretch beyond the normal limits, cheer you on as you hit the gymnasium and make emendations when you miss the point. Trainers are people to keep for they are in short supply.
The manager will speak for you, help you seek out competitions and opportunities, identify loopholes and seal them, and overall keep a watchful eye on your progress while sustaining vital networks. Managers are sent from heaven, for very few can do their work.
A promoter will pick you from the crowd as a talent. His/her work is to scout for talents, select them from the crowd and crown them with highly paid matches. Always thank God for the people who picked you from the drudgery and nurtured you to become who you are.
A boxer’s work is to diligently cooperate with the three key persons; consistently, persistently and insistently follow their advice.
With time, we are supposed to mature or instead grow into trainers, managers and promoters.